2004 Chrysler Pacifica
NHTSA Defect Investigations
The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:
INVESTIGATION: FUEL TANK PUNCTURES
NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA06010
Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage
Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly
Fuel System, Other:Storage
Fuel System, Other:Storage:Tank Assembly
Summary: EA06-010 was opened based on information gathered in preliminary evaluation PE06-009.PE06-009 was opened based on information obtained in a peer information request as part of a preliminary evaluation (PE05-050) of fuel tank puncture in model year (MY) 2003 through 2006 Nissan murano vehicles.in January 2006, Nissan submitted a defect information report to ODI that identified a defect in the fuel tank shielding in approximately 209,000 MY 2003 through 2006 Nissan murano vehicles.to remedy the problem, Nissan installed shields on the exposed front surfaces of the recalled vehicles.peer data collected for MY 2004 through 2005 Pacifica vehicles during PE05-050 included 120 field reports documenting tank replacements due to puncture or damage by road debris as part of a parts restriction program conducted at the request of the tank supplier (inergy). Analysis of the information provided by Chrysler during PE05-050, PE06-009 and EA06-010 show that the front surface of the fuel tanks in the subject Pacifica vehicles is not completely protected fromroad debris by the floor pan or other body structure.the tanks were compared with peer vehicles, including several identified by Chrysler as sharing similar design characteristics (unshielded high-density polyethylene plastic fuel tanks in a saddlebag configuration).some of the peer designs reviewed by ODI packaged the tanks in recessed cavities in the floor pan or used shields to protect exposed surfaces on the front of the tank.in general, these tanks had the lowest complaint rates for tank puncture by road debris. However, other peer designs reviewed by ODI had packaging similar to the subject vehicles and some of these also had some complaints of tank puncture.none of the peer vehicles analyzed by ODI had tanks puncture data comparable to Chrysler's field reports from its part restriction programs, so that data could not be used in peer comparisons. Analysis of the complaint data shows that the rate for the subject vehicles is about half that observed in the recalled murano vehicles and not significantly higher than some of the peer vehicles analyzed with similar design characteristics.testing by the NHTSA vehicle research and testing center (VRTC) showed differences between the murano and Pacifica fuel tank packaging and exposure to road debris thrown by the front tires.accordingly, this investigation is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.the Agency will continue to monitor complaints and other information relating to the alleged defect in the subject vehicles and take further action in the future if warranted.see document file for additional information regarding this resume.
INVESTIGATION: FUEL TANK PUNCTURES
NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE06009
Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly
Summary: On February 22, 2006, ODI opened PE06-009 to investigate reports that the fuel tanks on model year (MY) 2004 to 2005 Chrysler Pacifica vehicles may be punctured by contact with road debris.the number of reports submitted by Chrysler was significantly higher than those submitted by other manufacturers who were requested to submit data as part of investigation PE05-050 into MY 2003 to 2006 Nissan murano vehicles that may have had insufficient shielding of the fuel tank to prevent punctures after contact with road debris.Nissan issued recall 06V-003 involving increasing the shielding of the fuel tanks to reduce the likelihood of tank punctures. Chrysler has noted that they had in place from January 2003 to June 2005 a parts restriction program on Pacifica fuel tank replacements which may have made the number of reports artificially high in comparison to manufacturers which did not have a similar program in effect.Chrysler also questioned whether many of the field reports of fuel tanks replaced due to damage from unknown cause were actually punctured. This investigation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA06-010) to gather additional information concerning the alleged defect in the subject vehicles.
INVESTIGATION: ENGINE STALLING
NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ06002
Component(s): Engine And Engine Cooling
Fuel System, Gasoline
Vehicle Speed Control
Summary: On February 27, 2006 RQ06-002 was opened in response to 60 complaints of engine stall, mostly during left-hand turns, in model year (MY) 2004 to 2006 Chrysler Pacifica vehicles that were outside the scope of recall 04V-113.in March 2004, DaimlerChrysler initiated recall 04V-113 on 34,561 MY 2004 Pacifica vehicles to correct a condition that could result in engine stall while making a left-hand turn after a cold-start.during RQ06-002 it was determined that recall 04V-113 did correct the specific cause of the engine stalling condition for that specific population.however, two other conditions were identified that could also cause engine stalling during turning maneuvers:(1) an issue with misbuilt fuel pumps that primarily affected about 17,000 MY 2005 Pacifica vehicles built during August and September 2004; and (2) a software condition affecting vapor purge in about 131,000 MY 2005-06 Pacifica vehicles built from July 2004 through November 2005. An engineering analysis, EA06-013, has been opened to further examine the scope, frequency and safety consequences associated with each of these conditions in the subject vehicles.